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Move vs. Kinect - Shipped vs. Sold

by Adam Pavlacka on Nov. 30, 2010 @ 9:24 p.m. PST

After Microsoft announced that it had sold 2.5 million Kinect units to consumers, Sony followed up with its own announcement that it had shipped 4.1 million Move units to retailers. While the two announcements may seem similar on the surface, the difference in wording is key.

"Shipped" is not the same as "Sold."

When Microsoft announced that it sold through 2.5 million units, company spokespeople were very clear that number represented actual, retail sales. Those aren't units that are sitting on store shelves or in a warehouse somewhere. Every single one of those 2.5 million Kinect units was purchased by a consumer.

Sony on the other hand announced that it had shipped 4.1 million units to retailers. The company has not disclosed how many of those 4.1 million were actually bought by consumers. There is no way for anyone outside of Sony to know if those units are simply sitting on retailer shelves collecting dust, or if consumers are lining up to buy them.

So why didn't Sony simply announce the number of units sold?

No one really knows the answer to that outside of Sony, but it does beg the question, if Move really was outselling Kinect, why wouldn't Sony want to highlight that fact?

Instead of giving us actual numbers, Sony issued a press release which merely highlights how adept the company is at producing Move units. It says nothing to the question of how well they actually sell.

Microsoft on the other hand, laid bare its actual sales numbers without any pretense.

While it is impossible to do a direct sales comparison between the two announcements, one thing is certain -- Microsoft's position shows that the company has much more confidence in Kinect than Sony does in Move.

Sometimes what a company chooses not to say can be just as telling as what it does say.

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